Maintenance, sometimes called spousal support or alimony, may be ordered by the court to avoid unfair economic consequences of divorce. A non-wage-earning or low-wage-earning spouse may be eligible for spousal support by the higher-earning spouse. Typically, the family court has more discretion in determining whether to award spousal support compared to child support as well as how much and how long spousal support may be awarded.
A very long time ago, husbands paid "alimony" and wives got it. What we used to call "alimony" is now called "maintenance" in Missouri, and it is very hard to get. There is a two-part test that the courts will require you to prove to get maintenance.
Those tests are:
- Do you lack sufficient property, including marital property given to you in the dissolution of marriage, to provide for your needs?
- Are you unable to support yourself through a job, or, are you the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it inappropriate for you to work?
If the court answers "yes" to both questions, then the court considers ten factors to decide on the amount of maintenance. They are:
- What are the financial resources of the person asking for maintenance?
- How much time is needed to "re-train" the person seeking maintenance in order for them to find a job and support his or her self?
- What is the relative earning power of each person?
- What was the standard of living during the marriage?
- What debts and assets will each person receive in the divorce?
- How long did the marriage last?
- What is the age, physical and emotional condition of each person?
- How much money will the person ordered to pay need to survive?
- How did the parties act during the marriage? For example, was one person “at fault” for causing the divorce?
- Anything else relevant. For example, did one party put the other through law school and is now being left for a younger spouse?
Contact St. Louis divorce attorney Jason Fauss online or call 314-291-8899 to learn more about spousal support in Missouri and how it applies to your specific situation for FREE.